Kumawu Chieftaincy dispute deepens

The chieftaincy dispute in the Kumawu traditional area got to its peak yesterday when the new paramount chief announced a split from the great Asante Confederacy.

This was when the two paramount chiefs celebrated the first Akwasidae festival of the year amid heavy security presence.

Perhaps, it was such heavy security that put the fear of God in would- be -rabble- rousers to ensure peace contrary to earlier rumors of a possible clash between supporters of the two factions.

According to the rival paramount chief, BarimaTweneba Kodua V, “by this, we are serving notice that we have pulled out of the Ashante Confedracy which our proud ancestor-the brave warrior, Tweneboa Kodua, sacrificed his life to build and have severed all relationship with Manhyia’’.

“This painful decision has been forced on us by the act of betrayal on the part of people whose sacred duty is to uphold the core values of integrity, even-handedness and respect for cherished traditions and customs’’.

“We have never been known to be cowards. We would not be humiliated, despised or threatened. We have reached a point of no return,” Barima Kodua said.

The Akan annual calendar is divided into nine parts, each lasting approximately six weeks but varying between 40–42 days in a period; the celebration of this period is called the Adae Festival. It is very important to commemorate their ancestors.

Food offerings include special items such as to (mashed African yam), garnished with hard-boiled eggs. Every Ashanti celebrates this festival.

While Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua(DR Yaw Sarfo) celebrated the festival at the Kumawu palace, the rival paramount Chief, Barima Tweneba Kodua IV(John Kwasi Oduro), observed it in his house.

But, the Asantehene has already condemned the installation of the rival paramount chief.

At the first Asanteman Council sitting, this year on Thursday, the Asantehene indicated that the three Kingmakers, Aduanahene, Nana SarfoAgyekum II, Akwamuhene, Nana KwasiBaffoe and Akyempimhene, Nana OkyereKrapah, who engineered the installation of a new paramount chief recently in the person of Barima Tweneboa Kodua IV, were not recognized by the Asanteman Council.

According to the Asantehene, the Golden Stool is the biggest and fiercely of all stools in the Kingdom which, therefore, made him the occupant, the final authority.

He said anybody who claims to love Asanteman, must summit to the authority of the Golden Stool and its occupant, which is the soul of the Kingdom, and defend both at all times even at the peril of their lives.

“If it is Kumawu that you are talking about, then you must know that Tweneboa Kodua, gave up his head for sacrifice because he wanted the Kingdom to stand,’’ he stressed.

He said “the fact that Asanteman is a confederacy does not mean that any branch can sit somewhere and do whatever likes”.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu even took a swipe on his subjects for not defending the golden stool and allowing some people to denigrate him and the stool.

“You sit there and listen to all these lies being spewed about me in the media and yet do nothing in my defense. Instead, you want me to respond to them myself. Have I ever spoken on radio before?” he asked them.

However, the trio, the aduanahene, Akwamuhene, and Akyempimhene, insisted that Dr. Sarfo was an imposition they would never accept, claiming that the election and installation of the Kumawuhene had by tradition remained the exclusive preserve of the king makers of Kumawu and “we dare say nobody can alter this’’.

Therefore, the trio and other elders of Kumawu at dawn on Monday, January 12, 2015 installed the 56 year old telecommunications engineer as a new paramount chief.

The Akwamuhene and the others said “nobody can arrogate to himself this traditional function of ours or clothe himself with the power to remove any chief of Kumawu’’.

They said it should be obvious to anybody that a dangerous precedent would be set if “we the king makers ‘play dead’ or become petrified into inaction and allow the illegality to hold. We have a duty to Kumawuman-our ancestors, ourselves, the present and future generations to fight for what is right and just’’.

FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMAWU

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